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No Bias, No Bull

August 30th, 2009

Kenny is very observant.   He is also very chatty.   And he asks a lot of questions.   Example:

“Mommy, why aren’t you turning right on red?   You know you can if you want to.”

He is a tenacious negotiator:

Kenny: “Mommy, can I have a cookie for breakfast?”   Me: “No.”  Kenny: “A half?”   Me: “Nope.”   Kenny:   “Maybe one bite?”   Me:  “No, Kenny.”   Kenny:  “Then can I watch a TV show instead?”

He says whatever he’s thinking, lacking that social filter of what is  appropriate conversation:

Kenny: “Mommy?   How did your boobies get so small?”   Me: “There isn’t any milk for Cooper in them anymore.”   Kenny: “You should really get some more milk in there.”

And he definitely has an opinion:

(after a guy in a pickup truck honks and waves at me in the Home Depot parking lot) Kenny: “Why did that guy honk at you?”   Me: “Maybe he thinks I’m pretty.”   Kenny: “You’re not pretty, Mama!   You’re not wearing any lipstick!”   Me, putting some lipstick on: “How ’bout now?”   Kenny: “Yeah.   That’s better.”


MEMO: To Cooper, who hates diaper changes.

August 29th, 2009

Dear Cooper:

I love you.   I care for you.   I am willing to do anything for you and for your well being.   Why (oh why oh why) then do you put up such a fight when I change you??

Do you have any idea what a big deal it is that I so willingly and lovingly change your diaper 8 million times a day?   Would you really rather sit there with turds congealing on your bum?   And yet as soon as we come within 8 centimeters of the changing table, you begin to scream, to buck your body, to claw at my face, to kick me in the chest and to wail as if I was strapping you to The Rack.

As soon as I expose your oh-so-cute behind, it never fails that you first stick your hand right in it.   Yes, I do understand that you love your willy, but really: it’s poopy!   Next you swat at my face with your fouled hand, then arch your back and twist to the left as your firmly plant your heel into the goop.   By the time you are somewhat wiped off, both you and I are sweaty, and we still have a diaper to get on!     I gave up on the Desitin long ago, because what you do to me when I try to get that on you is just not worth it.

Do you know that your otherwise fearless big brother usually runs and hides under my bedroom curtains when I am changing you?   You are loud.   Even Dudley runs for cover.

What is a Momma to do?   Teach you a lesson and only let you wear one diaper all day?   Potty train you at 14 months?   Leave you naked?      How can I get it through to you that getting your hiney changed is really not a big deal????   How can an otherwise so happy baby turn into a roaring banshee?

Oh, baby.   If only you knew what you put this mama through…


Love, Mommy

My Three Sons

August 28th, 2009

I know: I only have two.   But Dudley really quite technically counts as a dependant.   He is, on some days, far more work than the other two, and, even though he has four legs and pees outside, he really is one of us.

But a small change has come over Dudley in the last 6 months: the beast has calmed down.

He and  I are now the same chronological age: 35.   And I think that just as my wrinkles and greys are starting to appear, his own age marks are slowly making their way in.   It used to be that if he wasn’t in the same breathing space as me all day long, he would howl like a wolf and bark like a hyena.   But now he will often escape the crazy noise of the boys and slink into my cool, quiet bedroom and lie in a patch of sun on the carpet.   Once he would instantly inhale any scrap of crumb that landed on the floor – so much so that I never had to clean up after feeding baby Kenny.   Now he ignores the cheerios and cracker crumbs littering the floor beneath the high chair and instead politely waits for a sliver of steak to come his way.   He used to nearly explode if we waited a moment too long to take his morning walk (or Heaven forbid, skip it due to hurricane or blizzard).   Now he perks up when he hears, “Wanna go for a run?” but otherwise doesn’t seem to mind the occasional lazy morning.

It’s his demeanor with Cooper, though, that most amazes me.   Cooper adores him.   He fawns over him.   He pats him and strokes him and covers him up with his blankie.   And Dudley just sits there calmly and takes it all in.   Even yesterday, when Cooper pulled his tail for the first time, Dudley let out a tiny whine and looked at me as if to say, “Hey Lady Who Takes Care of Me and Spawned These Hellions: can you please remove Sticky Fingers here from my arse?”

Here, in fact, is where he sits as I write:


…laying peacefully beneath the desk.   He was dozing, but lifted his head as I snapped the shot.

He’s only 5 and a half, but it is a little melancholy to see the puppy years finally wean away.   I love you, Dudley!

Freeze Frame

August 26th, 2009


Our camera is broken.   It got jammed full of sand in the bottom of the beach bag on our first morning at the beach this past weekend.   Waaaa.  

Casey’s aunt and uncle have a beachfront condo in Ocean City, Maryland, and they offered it to us for the weekend, which we thought about for maybe half a second before jumping in  with a “Yahoo!”   It was a great trip.     There was only one snag besides the camera – Cooper wailed the whole first night and a quick trip to the local urgent care in the morning confirmed another set of ear infections in both ears.   Poor little Coop.   A prescription of Augmentin and he was a new kid by lunchtime.   But I do wonder a bit about those ears of his.  

It was a little insane, though, traveling to New York City and then to the beach in one week with two little guys.   They were troopers, though perhaps now a little too attached to the DVD player in the car.   We  buckled in for some quick errands today, and Cooper cried the whole way, pointing desperately to the closed movie screen and wailing, “Ope-ee!   Ope-eeeeeee!”   In the best interest of their neurological development, I have also banned all other television since we’ve been back.   Except Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network, because she’s on at 5 when I’m trying to cook dinner, and because she’s so kind and nurturing, it’s practically like having a Grandma on TV to entertain the kids when there’s something hot on the stove.   And for some reason, they both really dig her.

Casey was out of town for the last few nights, too, and there has got to be some break in the day, right?   Our other “break” today was the screech of the house security system which woke the boys and I up at 6 AM this morning.   What a way to start the day…     I didn’t even turn it off until the dispatch called, because the sun was still struggling to get up and there was no way I was going to risk the fact that some early bird robber might be trying to break in.   The dispatch told me that the alarm was tripped by the glass-break sensor by my bathroom window.   Kenny talked about it all day:   “Momma?   Do you think maybe a bird flew into the window and set it off?   Or maybe my toothbrush fell off the counter?   Or was there a fire burning somewhere and our alarm heard it?   Or maybe someone flushed the toilet too loud…”   And tonight just as he drifted off to sleep, “Momma?   I sure hope that alarm doesn’t wake us all up again tomorrow.   That was really loud and I was still really sleepy.”

Me, too, baby.

It Happens (again and again)

August 25th, 2009

I have mentioned a few times before that there is a real reason that “Cooper” rhymes with “pooper.”

The sweetest little guy  ever, and yet he manages to fill his diaper four or five times a day with what stinketh.   And twice now he’s managed to poop on the white carpet in my bedroom in the 90 seconds between being dried off after his bath and being swathed in the safety of his Pampers.

So tonight he finally did it.   He pooped in the tub.   Not a couple of floaters, or a few dainty nuggets, no.   It was a mess.   And I had filled the tub tonight with so many bubbles, who knows how long it was in there.   It wasn’t until the white froth began to dissipate that I noticed how oddly brown the water was.

“Get out of the tub!   NOW!” I screeched to Kenny, who hopped up, still unawares, but startled by my no-nonsense tone.   I grabbed Cooper out, too, then made them stand on the bath mat, dripping and freezing cold while I drained the tub and maniacally disinfected it.  

It. Was. So. Gross.   Oh my oh my oh my… YUK!   I sit shivering at the memory.

I filled the tub again with water as warm as they could stand it, and scrubbed every last crevice of their defiled little bodies until I decided that they were clean enough to hug me again.

Thank goodness Kenny thought it was kind-of funny.   He’s three, and poop is still a form of entertainment, as he yet lacks the fuller understanding of what poop is and what it’s made of.   Cooper was mad at being taken so abruptly out of the tub, but instantly  jazzed at the opportunity to get in again.   They have both already forgotten the experience, but I am still so grossed out.  

Fortunately, it was one of those days that went so well otherwise, I am able to look at it now (after a really big glass of wine and a bowl of chocolate ice cream) as par for the course in the life of a Mommy.    As Jennifer Nettles would say,
“Sh!   It happens…”


August 19th, 2009

What will Kenny and Cooper remember most about our 30 hours in New York City?


Standing 10 feet away from a giant polar bear in the Central Park Zoo…


…and not quite knowing if it’s safe…


Feeling 10 feet tall…


…then suddenly very small.


A bedtime snack, way past bedtime…


…and hanging out with Uncle Dave!

We had a great trip.   We’re exhausted.   But it was worth it!

Things I forgot to mention

August 16th, 2009

I haven’t been the most consistent of blogger lately.   Ok, I’ve gone from posting nearly every day to once a week at best.   Summer.   Two boys instead of one.   Blah blah blah.

But I have realized that, if I really do want to preserve this as a Journal/Baby Book for Kenny and Cooper some day, it might be good to back track and record a few milestones and events that have happened in the last few weeks, lest they be forgotten…

I left Cooper overnight for the first time two weeks ago.   It was the first time I’d left Kenny since being in the hospital birthing Cooper, too, for that matter.   I hopped on a train with Casey to go to New York for the night!   We stayed at the hippest hotel ever, had a cocktail in the lounge (which cost more than we usually pay to go out for dinner!), met Casey’s brother Dave and his wife, Sonila for an incredible sushi dinner, then saw In the Heights on Broadway!   The show was awesome, and Casey even liked it so much, he’s been listening to the soundtrack ever since.   It’s a sort of latin-hip-hop musical with a lot of funky dancing and a great-looking cast.   My sister and her family came out to our house to watch the boys, and they had so much fun, I don’t think they missed us for a second.   Next time we need to go away for a weekend!

Kenny has become a great little bike rider.   We’ve been going to the trail on Saturdays while Casey takes Cooper to swim lessons, and he’s gotten consistent enough that I can jog at a good clip along side him while he rides.   He’s only had the bike for a month, so the training wheels are still on, but he balances so well they barely touch the ground.   Way to go, big guy!

Kenny has spontaneously started understanding math, completely on his own.   Yesterday he told Casey that “two and one are three!” and today informed me that “if you have three things and you get another one, you have four!”   I am pretty impressed, especially because I’ve never really pointed that out to him.   He also knows all his letters, upper and lower case, and can count to 50.   He writes pretty well, too.     The only downside I see to this brilliance is that his birthday misses the legal school year by 9 days.   Ergo, he won’t go to kindergarten for another two years, when he’s turning 6.     Guess it doesn’t hurt to be at the head of the class.   I just hope he’s not bored!

Cooper has a pretty impressive list of words going:   “Bah!” (ball), “deenk” (drink), “mik” (milk), “dooce” (juice), “tease” (cheese), “appa” (apple), “ap” (up), “dah-own” (down), “BA!” (bath), “ouse” (outside), “nigh-nigh,” “bed,” “napi” (nap), “bank-et” (blanket), “DOH!” (go), “Dah-dee” (Dudley), “Da-dee!” (Daddy), “Ten-tee!” (Kenny), “Dan-dee” (Grampy), “Man-ee” (Madison – my parent’s dog), “dah-gee” (dog / doggie), “bute” (book), “Ma-mee” (water mellon), “Mama,” “crack-her” (cracker), “nak” (snack), “ray-ree” (raisins), “Da!” (dance).   I think there are a few others, but that’s all I can remember right now.

Tomorrow the boys and I are going to tag along with Casey on a business trip to New York City.   We’re staying in Times Square, and I’m bringing our in-line jogging stroller and my walking shoes and we are going to tour the town on foot for two days straight.   Kenny can’t wait, as he can vaguely remember a similar trip we took when i was pregnant with Cooper.   I’ve promised a visit to the M&Ms factory store, and you’d think we were going to Buckingham Palace.   I’m sure I’ll have lots of tales to recount on our return!


August 13th, 2009


What I couldn’t mention in my Happy Birthday Post to Casey was that I planned a surprise party for him on his birthday!   It was actually the most fun and biggest stressor of my summer so far, but it went off without a hitch.  

First I told him to be home mid-afternoon, because the boys and I had a surprise for his birthday.   We took him to the docks downtown, and hopped on a sailboat for a two  hour cruise.   I had him mostly convinced that the sail was the big surprise…


After we docked I “suggested” that we head over to a local pizza joint for dinner.   It was, of course, where 38 friends and family were waiting to celebrate with us!   (The picture at the top of the post  is of Kenny, Cooper and their cousins hiding under the buffet table towards the end of the night.)   It was fun, the food was great and I think Casey was fairly surprised.     Happy Birthday, Baby!!

High Jumping Over The Hill

August 11th, 2009

My handsome husband, once dubbed “The Catch of the County” by a co-worker, is turning FORTY tomorrow!

Feel free to send condolences to him via the comments section.

Ha ha.

Personally, I think he’s really just turning 35, and has been fooling me with a phony birth date all these years.       But in all seriousness, I am so proud of my man for all that he has accomplished before this milestone!       He’s an Ivy League grad who sailed around the world twice before turning 25.   After college, he moved to Japan, without even knowing the language, and lived and worked there for just under two years, becoming fluent in the language and nearly as fluent with the culture.   He has worked in more countries than I can name.   When we got engaged, he informed me that he’d saved up several years worth of frequent flier miles for whomever he wife was to be someday, so that he could fly first class to the other side of the world for the honeymoon of a lifetime.   (How lucky was I to be on the receiving end of that!)     He is a hard worker, the best at what he does, yet manages to have both breakfast and dinner with me and the boys nearly every day.   He can rattle off baseball stats and Bible verses with the best of them, and can still make reading “Curious George Takes a Job” sound fresh even when reciting  it aloud for the tenth time in one week.   He can sing and play guitar, and can throw Kenny so high into the air, I sometimes have a near heart-attack before he comes down.   And he makes the best pancakes ever.outside-office-025

Happy Birthday Baby!!

No shoes, no shirt, no problem

August 10th, 2009

Summertime here on our creek has been hot and steamy most days, and until last night, we were hitting in on some sort of drought.   But the lack of rain turned out to be good for crabbing, and in the last two weeks, we’ve had record catches – as of this past Saturday, we had nearly four dozen jumbo crabs in our holding tank.   For those of you readers who do not live in the Chesapeake Bay area, this is somewhat akin to having a minor gold mine in your back yard.

We keep inviting people over to eat them with us, but they are gaining on our stomachs.   Here is a shot of the holding tank over the weekend…


…and another of the grandaddy of the catch…


Cooper was so overwhelmed with the angry crustaceans being boiled alive in Miller Light that he escaped into his own corner of the world…


(He is acutally eating a pear from our pear tree in the back yard.   All organic sounding, yes, but this is one that he found on the ground and started chomping on before anyone realized….)

Speaking of Cooper, he has turned into a Ham.   Bathtime is his favorite time of day, and he will often ask for a bath as many as ten times before lunch.   He is a veritable mer-man…


His other favorite time of day is running around  naked from his room to mine while I chase him with pajamas.   A few nights ago, I let him run in there while I fetched the jammies from his room.   Kenny was playing with the digital camera, and happened to snap this shot…


yes… if you look very closely in the lower  half, that is poop on my carpet.   YES, this is the SECOND time this has happened to me in a month.   YES.   I need to get his diaper on right away after that bath.   Thanks, Aunt Harriet, for the quick advice…

I didn’t even know about the poop until Kenny said, “Look at   the pictures I took!” and on inspection said something that sounded “Oh crap!” and yes, that’s what it was.   I did ask Kenny why he didn’t tell me that Cooper pooped on the carpet sooner.   “I thought you already knew” was his reply.    

No problem.

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